Derogation given to UK to continue supplying medicines to Malta

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April, 2022 at 12:01 pm by Andre Camilleri

The European Commission has welcomed the swift adoption by the Council of the proposals to ensure the continued long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and to address outstanding supply concerns in Cyprus, Ireland and Malta – markets that have been historically supplied through or by Great Britain.

For Cyprus, Ireland and Malta, the rules endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council provide a temporary derogation so that they can continue to source medicines from the United Kingdom only, if needed. The Directive and Regulation apply retroactively from 1 January 2022 and 31 January 2022 respectively.

These proposals were presented by the Commission in December 2021, a statement issued by the European Commission said, after several engagements with many entities representing the both the EU and UK to find a long-term solution. The decision was positively voted in parliament last week.

European commission Vice-President for the Inter- Institutional Relations and foresight, Maros Šefčovič, explained how during his visit to Northern Ireland last autumn, he promised to do whatever it takes to ensure the continued supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

“We now have a lasting solution, which was delivered in record time. I will continue to work closely with the UK government to ensure predictability, legal certainty, and the prosperity of all communities in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Subsequently the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said that the continuous supply of medicines is important for thousands of “in Northern Ireland – as well as Cyprus*, Ireland and Malta, whose markets are historically dependent on medicines from the UK. We have now fulfilled our commitment to find a solution to ensure that all citizens can continue to get the medicines they need, at all times. I welcome this swift agreement by the European Parliament and Council.”

It is planned that until 31 December 2024, the markets present in Malta, Cyprus and Ireland, will grow stronger and thus decrease their dependency on medicinal products coming from the United Kingdom.

Subsequently the Commission is planning to make proposal to revise the EU’s pharmaceutical legislation, to provide better longer-term structural solutions.

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